How I Became a Ballroom Dance Teacher
Only a few people I'm close with know my story of how I became a dance teacher, and especially a ballroom instructor but let me tell you right now, my story is so cliche it's unbelievable.
I actually come from a family of dancers. My mom was a ballet dancer who missed her chance at the Joffery Ballet due to a case of mono when a scout was coming to watch her perform. My maternal grandmother actually did social ballroom dancing so you could say it kind of runs in the family.
It's no surprise then that my mom put me into dance classes at a very early age and I was hooked. I didn't like playing with dolls too much but I LOVED dancing around the house. Tap was my particular favorite for quite some time simply because I could make noise with my feet but going into college I felt ballet and contemporary dancing calling out to me more.
Now let's back up for a second. I knew at the age of seven that I wanted to be a dance teacher and I was determined to make that happen. At the age of fifteen I was already teaching my first classes at the studio I was taking lessons at and I HATED it. Whaaaaaaaat?! That seems like crazy talk, right?
But remember I was determined and stubborn. My mom was trying to get me to become a doctor (What parent doesn't want their child to have such a prestigious job?) and I wanted to study dance in college. So despite my mom trying to sway my decision for the fear of her daughter becoming a starving artist, I went off to college and earned my degree in dance.
It was one of the most difficult, rewarding, confusing and exhilarating times of my life.
I loved the work I was doing in the program. I also taught kids at a local studio but that didn't last long. You see, children and I don't get along very well. They don't relate to me and I don't relate to them. And I'm okay with that. It's just a fact of my life. So here after years of dreaming about becoming a dance teacher, my bubble completely burst. What was I going to do now?
Enter Dancing with the Stars (See I told you it was cliche).
When I saw Dancing with the Stars on my parent's television for the first time, I fell in love. And it only grew from there. Movies like Shall We Dance? and Dance with Me made me so emotional because the dance scenes were so beautiful. I remember even babysitting for some neighbor kids (I know what you're thinking? Why am I always around kids? People, I tried...hard) and seeing Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin's retirement dance and thought to myself, this is the most awesome thing ever.
I was completely enthralled. All of my college projects were based around ballroom dancing and I couldn't wait for summer and winter break so I could take lessons again. However, after I graduated I joined a modern company in Milwaukee and taught classical dance to children. Again. I needed some way to pay for my ballroom lessons, but I hated every second of it.
It was only a short few months later, even though it seemed like a lifetime, that I finally asked if I could be a ballroom instructor at the studio I was training at. I studied patterns and figures any chance I could get. I watched other instructors and how they taught. I took on whatever job I could that would progress my training and I loved it.
To this day, I still love what I do. I have found my purpose in life and I couldn't be more grateful. I love teaching adults and I love sharing my knowledge with them. They are eager to learn and I have so much fun with my students. I couldn't have asked for a job more perfect for me.
So there you have it. That's my story. I hope you enjoyed finding out a little more about me.
And now I ask you, when did you first want to start dancing? Comment below! I'd love to hear about it!